Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
This is a huge challenge for me - in fact I'm feeling slightly sick at the thought of it - I've set this page up now while I'm in training as I know that once I see the sponsorship coming in I will not give up on my training! Every little bit helps - so please if you can spare a few pennies (or pounds) to sponsor me!
Now for the why, prepare yourself for a long read....
The British Heart Foundation is an amazing charity
We lost my Mother-in-Law, Mary six years ago to heart failure. She was born with Tetralogy of Fallot (in 1936). She spent the first 11 years of her life in a pushchair, frequently turning blue and prone to collapsing. She was operated on in 1947 (pioneering surgery at that time) and then again when she was 21, at which point she was told she had a 50/50 chance of survival. Well she sure showed them, she went on to live a full and happy life - 3 children and a golden wedding anniversary. When she went for check ups she was treated like a celebrity because the consultants were amazed that she had lived into her 70s! Sadly she never made it to her diamond wedding anniversary - or got to meet our son - but then he wouldn't be here at all if I had never met her son! The fact that she managed to lead a relatively normal life was thanks to the ongoing research, support and education that the BHF provides.
I also lost dad to a heart attack at the age of 36 when I was 5 months old.
Even if you know me well you might not know what has been going on with me over last couple of years. I have been suffering with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, something which (at the time) I had absolutely no understanding of and it came completely out of the blue. After lots of help and support from my lovely family, friends, my GP team and the Wiltshire IAPT, I eventually realised that my age (35 when it started), and being a mother were the main reasons behind my anxiety. I became a mum when I was 32, something that I had longed for all of my adult life. The reality of being a mum, what had happened to my dad and the overwhelming urge to be around to nurture this little human that we had brought into the world was just too much. Deep down somewhere in my subconscious something was telling me that the end was nigh and this brought on months of daily chest pains which often ended up in middle of the night panic attacks. Even though I was having them regularly each time it happened, I still convinced myself that my time was up.
I spiralled into a vicious cycle of depression, comfort eating, gaining weight and then my subconscious telling me that because I was fatter I was even more likely to pop off imminently! It's not been the best time of my life (although don't get me wrong - I know how lucky I am, I have my friends, am amazing family, a home and my health).
Anyway, flash forwards to this April, each day I am slowly feeling more like my old self, I am finally conquering this battle (I know it will probably never be completely over) and getting myself together.
Last week I had my first swimming lesson (don't worry I can already swim) and I remembered just how much I love to swim.
What better way to start my swimming journey than this - and raising money for this amazing charity which literally is so close to my heart!
Wish me luck!!
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.